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March 5, 2021 2:00 am
Addictive behavior is widespread and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities. That's why many addicts turn to Christ for help. In the message "Jesus Loves Addicts," Skip declares the good news that Jesus has for addicts.
This teaching is from the series Jesus Loves People .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
In first Corinthians, Paul says all things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything that's another description of something Masters you you you keep doing it over and over seem to be able to stop addiction is always a present danger posed by our own nature. The Bible calls it the flesh because of Christ. You can have victory over temptation, but that doesn't mean it'll be easy must be resilient and steadfast today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip talks about the message of freedom Jesus has for you to feel entangled by the chains of sin in your life. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that helps you live today in the eternal hope of the resurrection. The aftermath of 2020 has left so many of us wrestling with questions about the future and wondering what's next here Skip I think that's a question by the way that people ask anytime there is a catastrophe any kind of catastrophic event causes people to ask the question, what's next.
There's a car accident that happens while what's next guy to be able to walk after this disease strikes someone. What's next my going to be sure somebody we love dies, we ask what's next. My going to be able to go on. We want to help you live with confidence no matter what the future holds by sending you a powerful collection of Easter weekend messages from on the hope of the resurrection. Anything's possible. If the one who said he's going to die and rise again, died and rose again.
That means all of the promises Jesus ever made our possible and can come true. That's why it's called a living hope the morning that changed everything with skip. I think it's a DVD collection of six life-changing Easter messages and it's our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to the living hope of Jesus Christ to get online securely visit connectwithskip.com/offer port call 800-922-1888, chapter 4 and Matthew 11 Skip Heitzig gets into today's message. My name is Davey I'm an alcoholic. The title of a book came out several years ago, but dealt with teenage alcoholism.
It featured a 15-year-old boy who was an alcoholic. He was addicted. He denied that he had a need until someone else in his life. Another young girl named Maxine was also an alcoholic and was experiencing convulsions because of her alcoholism. She wanted help. He did not want help. Again, these are kids who were dealing with the topic of teenage alcoholism. I want to talk to you today about addictions. Some of you might be thinking why on earth would you want to talk about addictions from the pulpit in church will for two reasons.
First reason is because it's not talked about in church. Churches usually don't deal with the topic they don't deal with the issue over there good at marginalizing it and condemning certain behaviors but not dealing with in a second reason is because sin is never private and always affects other people emotionally, spiritually and even physically.
When David's sin against Bathsheba was down and it could even be seen as a sexual addiction. It seemed that in his life.
It didn't just affect David and it didn't just affect Bathsheba but the long tentacles of his sin reached further into the life of her husband Uriah who lost his life because of it to the life of Joab. David's general who is jaded because of it and even David's own children who had that father doing that thing as a role model for them which ruined a lot of their own future relationships is never ever done privately. Albert Einstein was the one who said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
And though he was talking about science. What if we were to apply what he said to life to our life. What do you repeat over and over and over again, but you are expecting a different result. For some people it's just one more drink one more just one more then it's over and I'm done or one more hit or one more look at that stuff on the Internet that then I'm done for others, it's just a few more dollars and no one will even know it's missing.
For others it's just one more shopping trip for still others, it's just one more binge meal addictions have different colors come in different flavors but that repetitive ongoing cycle doesn't stop now, you probably may already know this but the word addiction is is not found in your Bible. Unless of course you have the King James Bible. The old King James Bible.
I'm reading the new King James is not found in my version is not found in any modern version but it does appear once in the old King James Bible, but it will surprise you to know that it's not mentioned in the negative sense, but in a positive sense in first Corinthians 16. Paul writes about the household of Stephan S they are addicted to the ministries. Simply put, there's a family that is devoted to serving people and uses the term addicted.
That's the only time you will find it. The old King James version and a good sense not a bad since now we know it today in a negative connotation and addiction.
Webster's dictionary defines an addiction as a surrender of one's self to something obsessively and habitually. But the idea of addiction shows up all over the place in the Bible. In other words, different words than the word addiction. One of those words is found in our text this morning is the word captive or captives in the plural. Those who are held as prisoner by repetitive ongoing behavior that are held captive. Also in first Corinthians, Paul says all things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by any that's another description of when something Masters you you you keep doing it over and over and you seem to can be able to stop addiction is always a present danger posed by our own nature. The Bible calls that the flesh that's our old they are sinful nature. The Bible calls the flesh. So in Ephesians chapter 2 verse three Paul says formally. We walked in the desires of our flesh, indulging those desires. First Peter chapter 2 verse 11. Abstain from fleshly desires which wage war against the soul and in the book of James.
He speaks about those who are carried away and seduced by the tempter living under their desires. So what's special word would Jesus Christ have for such people. What words of hope. Would Christ have for those who find themselves in addictive behavior. Moreover, what kind of role model would he have for us.
Followers of Christ and how to treat addicts to begin with you in Luke chapter 4 I bet she did turn to Luke chapter 4, I first want you to notice that Jesus has good news for addicts in Luke chapter 4 verse 16 we begin, so he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he stood up to read. He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah when it opened the book, he found the place where it was written, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord that he closed the book David back to the attendant and he sat down in the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him and he began to say to them today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. This marks the beginning of Jesus public ministry. He is 30 years of age. He walks into the synagogue, a little group gathering.
He had gone to that synagogue growing up all his life.
Now he's back, and he is given a scroll. He opens the scroll to Isaiah we know it is chapter 61 and he begins his ministry by reading this text, what fascinates me about that is somebody else began their ministry using the same exact portion of Scripture's name is John Wesley. It was April 2, 1739, when Wesley decided he's not just going to preach the gospel inside of a church or church people, reason to take it outside the walls where the disenfranchised are the street people are with the people would never come to church, hang out, and he writes in his diary after his first message he said 3000 people heard the gospel outside the walls of the church today and he said I chose is my text. The very text we are reading so I find it fascinating that he decided to begin his ministry to the disenfranchised and the captive much like Jesus did with the same text. Now look at verse 18 a little more carefully and noticed with your own eyes.
The description of the audience that Jesus was sent to you as you look at some of the words in that verse, I think you're going to have to agree were talking about the messiest bunch of folks you could ever imagine.
Look at look at the description poor brokenhearted captive blind oppressed you know what describes us the whole lot of us.
None of us came out perfect.
We were all born flawed. I know your parents that you were the greatest, we were born the Sedlock. She's perfect. All they had to do was wait my ride soon they would discover how flawed you really were. Soon they would discover as your human nature began to blossom man, she's got that propensity he has that bent that leaning and then as the years went on, even you made that same discovery about yourself as societal pressure and inborn tendencies work together. You saw how flawed you really were. And for some people that fleshly hole is so profound it shows itself and what we would call life dominating sins addiction's life dominating sense what the writer of Hebrews calls besetting sins. Hebrews chapter 12 says the sin which so easily beset us, ensnares us, entangles us, that's an addiction. Jesus has a special message for such people notice he has come to preach the gospel and what the word gospel means right needs good news and we as Christians need to remember that our message ought to be a message of good news for the life of me I know how we managed to do it, but some of us Christians managed to make good new sound like bad news.
You are to become a Christian, you're like me and have peace and meaning in zip and zing in their life.
Not thanks, Max.
It's good news. We need to give the gospel good news because you see the world has messages of bad news for these people you were born this way you'll never change that that identifies you, and that defines you and your addiction will always define you know we need to give them the good news. Good news is the gospel is the gospel, by the way, or the gospel according to Paul in first Corinthians 15 is very simple.
It's that message that Jesus came that he died that he was buried, and that he rose again from the dead and that he did it for you.
That's the gospel. Somebody asked Charles Spurgeon one time, could you take everything you believe in, or the Christians believe in, and sum it up in a few words, he said I give you forward Christ died for me that's the gospel that's the good news he loves you. He has a plan for you so notice it says that the Lord sent him the father sent him to proclaim liberty to the captives, there's that word, I just want to consider that word we talk about addictions captive. Did you know the word literally refers to prisoners of war. POWs I have come to proclaim liberty to prisoners of war.
Jesus has a special message to those who have been barraged by the enemy. Jesus has a special message for those who have been taken captive by Satan or in bondage of addiction.
I was reading this week.
The testimony of an X addict named Gary there's a story in a nutshell when he grew up. He said he was abused by his maternal grandmother that would tweak anybody by age 12 he was drinking alcoholic became addicted to 12 years of age by 16, he was already on drugs became addicted.
One day as a teenager is a mid to late teenagers in a car somebody in the car and exactly who it was but spoke to him a message. He said Gary I do know I'm telling you this but I feel like I need to tell you, Jesus loves you because what Jesus Christ loves you. Gary said you know it irritated me, but that simple message was so profound, Jesus loves an addict. He said those words were a seed that began to break down like angry hardened heart.
So Jesus has good news for addicts. I've come to preach the good news something else. Not only does he have good news for addicts.
Jesus has a good plan for addicts. I draw you back to verse 18 of Luke chapter 4, I want you to notice as you look at the text. The relationship between two phrases because art is an important relationship.
Notice he says that he has been anointed. He is been said to proclaim liberty to the captives see that phrase but then notice a few phrases after that to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim liberty to set at liberty to proclaim liberty is to preach to Harold to make an announcement to say something with your mouth, but to set at liberty is something vastly different in other words, I'm going to do for you what I proclaimed. In other words, Jesus is saying I don't just have a nice sermon for addicts. I have a great strategy for them. I have a plan and my plan is to release them to give them freedom from their addictions to break the cycle that the ricotta not as he do that.
How can he do that. How can God do that. All I think you will agree with this statement. First of all he can do anything right.
He can do anything so I does he do it.
I have seen him again this is rare to say it that he can take away a desire instantly. A lot of us would just love if you do that with all of our bed, as are just, just take away just remove it. I have heard the testimony of those who have been addicted to a variety of things.
Tell me they no longer have any trouble with that issue anymore. They're not even struggling with it. I have a desire. I applaud that. I think it's wonderful. It's miraculous. It's not the norm. Usually the way he does that is supernaturally naturally. That is, supernatural power that comes through natural processes. It's the principle of cooperation if you're familiar with the Old Testament, you know, this principle. God tells the children of Israel going to conquer the land taken over. I'm to give the land to you.
I'm gonna deliver your enemies into your hand. Sounds easy right I'm in a do this on her do that, I deliver him to give, but he also says you need boots on the ground. You need to take your sword out you need to engage in battle you need to march to the land and as you cooperate with me. My power will give it to you and do it for you to a natural process.
So I want to give you what I think is a healthy process that God empowers from everything I've read and from those that I have spoken with who have in the past been addicted to a variety of substances we need to take and isolate that addiction so picture picture and addiction in front of you, however you want a picture.
Whatever it is and we need now to quarantine. We need to isolate it. We need to draw a box around the box has four sides.
The first side will get a call accurate assessment you need to make an accurate assessment of your addiction.
In other words, don't underestimate your addiction. It's a big deal this were many people fail box not a big deal I can stop anytime I want. They never do. It keeps going.
The cycle continues. But they keep telling themselves.
Not a big deal. No accurate assessment. Don't underestimate your addiction and addiction is not a typical challenge that everybody goes through, it is the struggle of a lifetime.
In fact, there will probably never be a greater challenge in your entire life than that particular challenge. All other problems will pale in comparison.
Accurate assessment one author who was once addicted wrote these words. Early recovery is one big dramatic event and your emotional court is bouncing down the side of a mountain. It's an emotional roller coaster. This same phenomenon can be observed when someone tries to quit smoking. The smoker will notice that every time you try to quit smoking. All this drama pops up in their life.
Why is this happening.
They wonder why does all this drama suddenly show up every time they try to quit. He answers it. You have been fooled by your addiction. You have been fooled by your addiction withdrawal from nicotine or drugs or pornography or food turns up the intensity.
He says on your life turns up the emotional intensity, so an accurate assessment is the first side of that box R second side to quarantine addiction will call this overwhelming force use overwhelming force. If you want to capture a base of your enemies, the best way to do it is by using overwhelming force. So if it takes 200 soldiers to take over an enemy base bring 800 so there is no chance for failure. You will overwhelm the enemy with your force will make sure the job gets done. That's the message from his series uses low-speed use group to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong, connecting more people like you to the gospel of Jesus.
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Next, Skip Hyson talks about God's redeeming plan for those battling addiction and vital part play that plan of healing Skip Heitzig presentation of connection communications through